Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson talks about becoming “Dwayne Johnson” actor, using wrestling to get into acting, The Game Plan, Chris Benoit, and more
On Tuesday, former WWE superstar and star of the upcoming Disney comedy “The Game Plan” was a guest during the “Alone With Rome” segment on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning TV show. Rome annd Johnson touched on a variety of subjects
Asks if he’s now officially “Dwayne Johnson, actor.” Johnson said he became “Dwayne Johnson, actor” when he quietly retired. Said he thanked all the people he wanted to thank, mentioned how it’d been four years since he last wrestled.
Did he want to wrestle or use wrestling as a tool to get into acting? Johnson said he loved wrestling, grew up around wrestling, his grandfather wrestled. His first love was football. But when he didn’t make it in the NFL, he knew he’d have to close that chapter, which turned him to wrestling since he loved wrestling, the showmanship of it. Being in wrestling meant being on TV which gave him opportunities like in sitcoms.
Rome asked about the difference between “The Game Plan” and past action movies he’s been in. Johnson described game plan as “a big broad comedy.” Johnson said that you could be funny but if you didn’t have good material, you’d be “stinking up the joint.” He waited for the right opportunity, got it in game plan. Praised Disney for their ability to put out good family comedies, movies with happy endings.
The ruptured Achilles tendon injury suffered while filming “The GameP lan.” Johnson said he never suffered such an injury before. He said it happened during shooting as he was rolling out to pass a football. His doctor came back from vacation to perform the surgery. They shut down production while he was out, he was back and shooting resumed two months later.
What was Chris Benoit like? Johnson said he was a “great guy.” He said the Benoit he knew, the guy he worked with, was a great guy. He didn’t know the guy who committed “those heinous crimes.” Johnson said he stopped trying to figure out why it happened said people like them didn’t have the wiring inside and would never be able to understand why. “Great guy, hated to see it, my heart still goes out to the family.”
Reaction to story of tragedy: “I got upset. I cried like a lot of guys did. I knew him, I knew his wife. I met his children. It was difficult.”
Rome asked if Johnson missed anything about wrestling: Johnson said he missed interacting with the crowd. He said a live crowd “keeps you on your toes.” Rome followed up with the point that you didn’t get that same immediate reaction from movies. Johnson agreed but noted that when a scene is happening and things are clicking, you get into a zone where you feel you can’t do anything wrong, like athletes have. The crew though isn’t going crazy.
Johnson also had praise for current Miami Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon, calling him the “right man for the job.” The interview ended with a plug for “The Game Plan”, noting it would hit theatres at the end of the month.